Last Updated on April 27, 2023 by Tabraiz
Gaming has long had a history of being a “boys club,” even though women have been a part of the industry since its earliest moments. While things have gotten better over the years, high-profile cases such as the lawsuits at Activision-Blizzard serve as a reminder of how much work remains to bring true equality to the gaming industry collectively. Whether it is online video games or the online casino industry, incorporating card games such as poker or blackjack, women have always been at the forefront of the industry, even if they aren’t always offered the biggest platforms.
It isn’t just the players who are paving the way for more inclusion for women in the gaming sphere; many of the best and most driven game developers are women. Together, their efforts help inspire more and more women to pursue their dreams and goals. The women included on this list are just a handful of those who are working to change the online gaming industry for the better.
The iGaming industry, which includes online casinos and online poker sites, has seen incredible growth in the last several years, according to Forbes, and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Women like Sarah Blackburn, who is the Director of GameOn Marketing, have been a driving force in that growth. Blackburn started in the iGaming sector over 16 years ago but found the lack of opportunity for herself and other women frustrating. As a result, she started her own company, GameOn, which sought to not only promote the industry and the sites that rely on them for their marketing and publicity but also to provide a space where only women could be supported to change the industry for the better as well, empowering women by providing more opportunities for future generations.
Online poker is one of the most popular games in the world and Kristen Bicknell is one of the most popular rising stars in the game. For more than ten years she has risen through the ranks of online poker to become one of its highest-earning professional players. Kristen Bicknell got her start in online poker during her college days when she signed up as a way to pass the time between classes and studying. That hobby soon became a career and a passion. She is an ambassador for multiple online poker companies and has used her platform to push back against misogyny in the poker industry. Recently she made the jump to playing in-person tournaments and has continued to be one of the most successful modern poker professionals in this new arena.
Without a platform, none of the women gamers would have a place to showcase their skills. That’s where companies like Twitch come in. Amber Dalton is the Senior Director of Sales/Sponsors at Twitch, helping to bring together brands and influencers across the gaming world. But she isn’t just a marketing and sales powerhouse; along with her twin sister, Dalton also started a competitive female gaming community, PMS Clan, to give women a safe space to game and build their own networks. Before she made the leap toward the more corporate side of gaming, Amber Dalton was ranked as one of the best players in the world at both Halo 2 and Gears of War.
Going by FemSteph on Twitch and YouTube, Stephanie Driscoll has experience in game marketing as well as with the controller. With more than 235,000 followers across social media and over 9 million views on her streams, Driscoll is one of the most popular streamers in the world. Her handle came from the first game she worked on in marketing and has stuck with her all these years later. On YouTube, she has gained hundreds of thousands of subscribers thanks to her well-rounded content. Much like other beloved online gamers like Markiplier, her videos are a refreshing mix of gaming and real-life updates that endears and inspires. Aside from producing her own work, she also works closely with other women in the gaming industry to help create a more positive and inclusive space. Her passion and creativity have helped her carve out a platform in gaming, which she is using to help other women do the same.
Women in gaming is not really a novel idea. As equally important trendsetters in the wider gaming industry, women are pushing for innovation and inclusivity in this ever-growing sector.